Fantasy magazine

From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

Editorial: December 2022

AS: I just came back from the latest World Fantasy Convention! This year it was in New Orleans (last year was in Montreal). Several hundred people attended, and some attended virtually. I went to a swamp for the first time—which was really beautiful. Fantasy Magazine held two slots among the World Fantasy Awards finalists: one for Eugen Bacon & Seb Doubinsky’s story, “The Failing Name” (https://www.fantasy-magazine.com/fm/fiction/the-failing-name/), and the other for us as editors! These aren’t the first accolades our mag has gathered, but it was pretty cool to be around folks and feel that sense of appreciation and excitement.
CY: I know that everyone at Fantasy Magazine is thrilled for the winners, and we’re all still astonished to be in such great company amongst the other nominees. World Fantasy is one of my favorite conventions, and I’m so sorry I had to miss it this time around. Next year it’ll be too close to home for there to be any excuse!
AS: I feel like the world is still a hot mess. We aren’t in a serious lockdown anymore, but many people still deal with the consequences of COVID, including, for some, staying in lockdown. For more than a few, there are financial crises. Greed and power are still driving forces for many of the people who make decisions around the country and the world. Crime is seriously high, especially where I live, in California. Stories are more important than ever. I find solace, kinship, joy, and so many other things in the work we publish.
CY: I was just thinking about this recently—ten years ago there was a lot of interest in post-apocalyptic and dystopian stories (two different sub-genres, for what it’s worth); an expression of our collective fears at the time, perhaps. But now we’ve lived through something that felt pretty apocalyptic, and in the U.S. things are feeling more dystopian all the time. We’re starting to see it in the submissions, as people get a little bit of distance from 2020 and 2021 and start to process their experiences through their art. And while the themes might be a bit dark, I’m also seeing more happy endings than I would expect.
AS: In the December 2021 editorial we talked about how rocky the prior year or two had been. But the cool thing about going to World Fantasy was remembering that there is a community here. We ultimately go back to our lives; we do the things we have to do. But there is something really special about that sense of community, about being nerds together, and finding commonalities through our love of speculative works of all kinds. As editors, we build community with readers and contributors through this magazine: all of our thoughts overlapping and subtle conversations happening through our experiences of these works, even if we never speak a word directly to each other. We all share something special, and that shared community—these strangely connected experiences—are very different from most of the other parts of our lives.
CY: I’m looking forward to the coming year, and more opportunities to reconnect with our community. Most conventions did a great job of moving to a virtual format, and more recently, hybrid; I suspect that hybrid programs are here to stay, because of the access they give to people who otherwise might not be able to participate in community in that way.
• • • •
In this issue’s short fiction, Victor Forna takes us on a search for home in “Parebul of the Mother, Asked in Moonlight,” and something allures from beyond in Jennifer R. Donohue’s “Into the Dark”; in flash fiction, Jennifer Hudak gives a taste of preserved magic in “Sturgeon Moon Jam,” and Sam Kyung Yoo draws a daring, imaginative escape in “The End of a Painted World”; for poetry, we have “Luminous” by Timmi Sanni and “What Chimerae Read” by Mary Soon Lee. Plus essay “All the King’s Women: Annie Wilkes is the Mother Goddess of Cocaine” by Big Girl (PM Press) and Number One Fan (Mira) author Meg Elison. Enjoy!

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Arley Sorg

Arley Sorg is a 2021 and a 2022 World Fantasy Award Finalist as well as a 2022 Locus Award Finalist for his work as co-Editor-in-Chief at Fantasy Magazine. Arley is a 2022 recipient of SFWA’s Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award. He is also a finalist for two 2022 Ignyte Awards: for his work as a critic as well as for his creative nonfiction. Arley is a senior editor at Locus Magazine, associate editor at both Lightspeed & Nightmare, and a columnist for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. He takes on multiple roles, including slush reader, movie reviewer, and book reviewer, and conducts interviews for multiple venues, including Clarkesworld Magazine and his own site: arleysorg.com. He has taught classes, run workshops, and been a guest for Clarion West, the Odyssey Writing Workshop, Cascade Writers, Augur Magazine, and more. Arley grew up in England, Hawaii, and Colorado, and studied Asian Religions at Pitzer College. He lives in the SF Bay Area and writes in local coffee shops when he can. Find him on Twitter @arleysorg. Arley is a 2014 Odyssey Writing Workshop graduate.

Christie Yant

A white middle-aged woman with pale skin, chin-length magenta hair, and tortoise-shell glasses

Christie Yant writes and edits science fiction and fantasy in the American mid-west. She is a World Fantasy Award and Locus Award finalist as co-editor of Fantasy Magazine; a consulting editor for Tordotcom’s acclaimed line of novellas; co-editor of four anthologies; editor of Women Destroy Science Fiction!, winner of the British Fantasy Award for Best Anthology; and the author of just enough published short stories that if you counted them up on your digits you’d probably have a toe left over. She has a website here: inkhaven.net. She presently attempts to balance her dayjob, writing life, and editing life with varying degrees of success.